tv James Patterson on Independent Bookselling CSPAN July 4, 2014 10:00am-10:40am EDT
the u.s. press, i think if you read the accounts of helper sam and sheehan and malcolm brown who were there in the early days they tend to have really believed that the united states was doing the right thing by being in vietnam. this was a country that needed to be saved and they dominos were very real and they were really falling so they were really sort of patriotically behind the united states involvement in south vietnam. but because of that madame nhu and her family were really a stumbling block. they were things up right and left in these reporters could see it and no one else was talking about it. so they were advocates for -- i don't want to say the replicas for regime change but they were advocates for getting america more involved in south vietnam reporting the facts as they saw them which was hard to do in that context. i don't think they built madame
nhu up. i don't really think that they liked her very much. >> we should point out too that she read them religiously and there's a point in the book where you tell her that david halberstam has just been killed in a car accident. he was in a car accident 2008 or something like that and you tell her, you break that news to her byt.she seems kind of saened and she actually seems kind of admired, that it was a personal friend of hers, someone she had known well. >> he had something like her something like her like he was one of he was one of the family have the family have had to do a parade. she raised her hand like mussolini. she said these things at any other reading what the knot complements. but she was sort of like i remember he feared he was a good reporter and he always told the truth. >> on that note we are about out of time. i went to thank you very much. outside the bookstore for sale and we hope you will pick up a
[inaudible conversations] i guess the quiet means i am supposed to start. welcome. my name is trained for and i'm really happy to be here moderating this very, very important model this afternoon. i have two apologies to make. one is that i am not al rocher as you can tell. the second apology is i'm a little jetlagged. >> you never make any sense anyway. >> that's true. >> so i want to put those two things have there. we are here for a really, really celebratory. this afternoon. when james patterson announced in september 2013 that he would be giving away a million dollars, guess a million dollars, two independent bookstores in 2014, i personally
was delighted as i'm sure all the booksellers were out there. jim always gets what our independent bookstores mean to our communities and to the greater relationship our country has books and reading. here's just a quote that i thought i would give to you. it is a quote that, you know, i saw come down the line from jim. it is kind of the mission statement for this initiative that is to. every day, booksellers throughout their saving our country's literature. the work they do to support schools and the rest of their communities leaves a lasting love of reading in children and adults. i believe their work is vital to our future as a country. what are we if we don't have her literature? i couldn't be happier to very humbly support booksellers in their mission.
maybe that is because it is my mission as well. on behalf of booksellers everywhere, i want to thank you for that. [applause] i thought what i would do is introduce the other members of the panel up here. we have karen west. this is caring. caring is direct dirt -- [inaudible] [laughter] >> that is the jet lag. karen west is director of events for the san francisco bay area's liveliest independent bookstore, one of the liveliest. i have a lot of friends out there as well. one of the liveliest independent bookstores in san francisco. they carried over a thousand events per year in three major writing conferences.
step two has been in the book business for over 20 years with an emphasis on community relations and diverse programming. coming from a museum and theater back row covers set to is that the marine shakes your company and she listened laguna task, california, a small community on the way to point reyes, which is a gorgeous place, what there has been inside were they cultivated massive poolside garden. david, david shallenberger is cofounder and co-owner of little shop of stories, children's bookstore located in decatur, georgia. this series serves as a juror for the national book award and the young people's literature division. so many authors out there, this is the guy you need. besides becoming a great bookstore for kids and their families, little shop is most proud of its role in the development of the decatur book festival, a marvelous festival,
the nation's largest independent festival. well, i am with the miami book fair, one of the nation's largest -- [laughter] on the same page and annual community side reading initiative. thank you does for being here. the way we will handle this is to have a little bit of a discussion. i'm going to speak to someone for a little while in the two booksellers will talk about what they might have done what some of the money they might of god. then we'll open it to the audience for questions and some of you who might have gotten her in might want to tell us what you've done. then we have a big announcement at the end as well because the next round of grants will be given and announced this afternoon. and i am told that if you are hearing you've got your announcement come you can actually pick up your check this afternoon. >> the check will bounce. >> one other thing.
if you are watching not c-span, when the show was over, go to an independent bookstore and buy some books. [applause] >> so let me ask you a question. how did you come up with this? >> it all goes back to bringing up a kid, our son is 16 now, and is developing mmc reader and just getting more interested in more people reading and getting more involved in studying the business more in paying attention to why people do and don't read. it just seems to me that it is so important we have bookstores in this country where people go and talk about books and find out about books and obviously we are in a period where that is
being threatened. we are not thinking about that area as much as we should this. we are not doing as much as they showed to help make sure that american literature prospers and actually survives. >> and what do you see is the independent role in this whole dynamic? >> one of the great things about independence is there is no independent role. they all have a different role, which i think is wonderful and that depends on who they are. it is their story. they get to make your decisions, which is terrific. and where the stories. it is going to very. obviously in miami it's a lot different content for an a lot different than idaho. that is the wonderful thing about it. it is so local and local problems at local solutions.
but the continued continuity at all across this country we just need to support books and reading. >> and i noticed that one of the requirements is to bookstores have a children's session. talk about the role of the children books. >> it is my passion, why i started writing for having jet row up before our eyes, my wife sue is here. i just became aware how hard it is to get kids interested in books and how important. there are two levels. one is for kids who are bright and going to be good readers comments to make a much better readers and deeper and also to spread the bread of the other reading because a lot of kids don't read as brightly as they
should and is worse now than it ever has been in terms of not obviously in every household, but it general public kids are reading wide enough. there's so much black-and-white thinking as opposed to great thinking. things are a lot more complicated if you really get into them. one of the wage again to said jackson signed enough about them is to read. most of the subjects on television does not the kind of depth. the second reason i'm so committed to children, getting children reading has to do with at-risk kids and kids that if they don't -- in my own area, i was dating service for grade to eighth grade. if we don't get them at that point and make them competent readers, how are they going to get through high school? how are they going to become good parents themselves?
was going to happen after they get out of high school if they don't read well quote i don't want to say they are doomed, but it really makes it hard to really limit their choices and that is the key thing. the scenario where the country and even independent could do a better job to get it those kids. that is a hard one, but it's so important for the country. >> a lot of us have talked about helping the next generation of readers and that is why i think some of what you are doing and what you are trying to do has been so focused in such away in such a way that's a lot of money listed either. >> and it's doing. we will secure talk and listen in our job is done. it went to a lecture. we went to a lecture, we were stimulated. hopefully there will be some stimulation today. and then we went and did
something. i side of things i could do better, where you thought of things you could do in your stores that would be even better than what you are doing now. and that's a combination of imagination. part of it is always you have an idea and then you have to sit back and go is that a good idea? is that the best idea? @a.q. khan delay, the program i'm going to do or try to do, this thing with the mds. we've tried a couple different things. we had a program a couple years ago that wasn't as good as this in terms of making it easy for people to get involved in to get some help. one of my jokes about this is it is easy being green. you'd be surprised how hard it is to give money away. >> that leads me to the next question, which is what has surprised you about some of the requests we've gotten? >> the thing that surprises me
and want again it is somewhat difficult. we couldn't have made this simpler. all bookstores have to do is sort of write sort of right sort of write half a page or page of what you want to do. and that's important to us that's really a bookstore is supposed to a hair salon where they attend books that doesn't count. and just my pet thing is that there's a children section or at least children's books, which i think is important and not if the backup has some very good bookstores come on but that is the one little idiosyncratic rule that we have. >> talk about in the first round of grant that you gave, can you give us some of the figures? >> well, this round -- there's 43 stores. there's 98 now. recently there were 55.
we were up to 535,000 now. we will have another grouping sometime in the fall. i am assured we will get to a million this year. you know, if there is more need, we'll go in to next year. we'll do other things, another million baby. [applause] part of it has to do with trying to be efficient and smart. i know bill gates is currently having some second thoughts about what he's doing with his money. i don't know if it centers around this, but it's like anything else. i think people would be very comfortable with more taxes if they really assure that the taxes are being used wisely for education and health care and things we all think are very important. similarly, i want to make sure that what we are doing is
really, really hoping and making stories better stories. >> let's go to at some of the booksellers appear have done. why don't we start over here and why don't you tell us how you felt when you receive the grant and what you've used the money for. >> when we receive the grant, first of all -- >> you notice this is my transceiver. >> first of all, is so important, so chris, clear and clean. you voted out, we got to respond in a simple format and put forth play in a direct to manner. we were ecstatic. there's photos to show you the whole story went nuts over it. what you said when you offered it outweighs you said we could imagine a world of adults coming
out of young people who didn't read. we didn't want to live with those people and the passage felt in our community very strongly about this. what is happening in the san francisco bay area. you may not know we've been ranked number one most expensive place to live. repeat often had. we are the most place. when things happen, they happen in the community. i have a 13 euros. when i compare his education at my education, we got to go on field trips to museums, libraries, bookstores. he doesn't get to go on field trips. they simply don't have the money in the tech space. so what would look at his children couldn't give two s. 10 because we were such an expensive place to live, both parent and get to work in a community. it simply was a matter of time and resources starting to seep dwindling amount of family and children coming in because of workloads. is really important we get to
them. so what we were doing and i could. this very dreary picture for you. we were renting these big, ugly scrape depew halls. to get a u-haul took about three staff members to drive this industrial area of town. so they've got three booksellers in order to get on the road to a school and you have to go down to this area, drive another car, drop the person off, come back to the store. it was a really pertinent process that we just do this over and over again, pc gastronomical rental fees to try to get to a few schools have put on book fairs and bring that reading to children. so i have been overplayed for the grant we asked for two things that are really monumental. we wanted to get on the road with their rooms and, a logo we can grow up to the front of the school, open the doors and start our days. it sounds like a small thing, but transportation was huge.
immediately with the purchase of the family are able to add five more schools to her book fair roster and get on the road and get out to them. the second part of the grant we asked for this is going to again maybe make you laugh, but you have to see it, we had a dilapidated old sound system that came donated from the night 70s reedit the bay area. it records all over the place. you trip over things at the south would short out all the time. it was a real monster. so for in-store events would bring me children's authors, we bought a boat is the elixir another 2001 space odyssey monolith. it's gorgeous, it's clean, it's small, all the children can fit around it. no course to trip over in a made a huge difference in the way we present from the store. if it were children and cannot fit more children safely. these two things come to you
with no idea the impact those two things make it our children's programming. >> to pass his application nine pages. >> simple, direct -- >> my question is where the grateful dead going to play. >> i now come this variously. >> that sounds fantastic. dave, how about you? >> similar to caring, we have serious transportation issues. we've been growing our book fair business anything around personal vehicles and they have sustained substantial issues with drink missions and suspension and we knew we really had to get a fan for some kind of vehicle. when we started budgeting for a few years ago, we thought let's do some even cooler. let's try to get like a school bus, a little school bus that leaves so we can not only transport books, but turn it
into a bookmobile to bring authors to the schools, two d. storytimes at the schools. and so we figured in about three years we would have enough money set aside in order to do it and instead with the generosity of james patterson, theatre on there. we've purchased a short school bus coming 14 passengers schoolbus right on the now the process of being painted and most of the seats getting ripped out of it in over the summer we will be doing some work on the interior in installing and on and on the exterior so we can have some shaded storytimes. we are just super excited about it. the morning the grants were announced, james patterson masson and pr and he specifically mentioned in our store that we were buying a bookmobile. literally within 10 minutes i had about three or four phone calls from customers and we have calls throughout the entire day.
our customers are npr listeners. no surprise. so it is just fantastic. to have everything rollout for the decatur book festival over labor day weekend will be a real visible reminder to the community that we are out there and are there to support them in all their support for us. >> i think that deserves a big round of applause. [laughter] we too received a career. what we've done in our stores on the cute side as we make a very big, big effort, like so many of you coming to get the authors into the schools beyond just an author event at the store. so oftentimes there will be one event in our store, but an author will spend two or three days going to schools all throughout dade county. one of the things we found this in many of the title i schools
for the schools they really weren't able -- with the kids themselves are unable to afford the authors books, we used our money to be able to purchase books to leave them for a kid who weren't able to afford to buy the authors books who were coming. and a number of instant news, we also left the school library books than we are planning to continue that in to the fall and it's made a world of difference. we've gotten letters from the kid, letters to the schools thinking to the schools thank you nice, thank you mr. patterson. it has made a world of difference in being able to make these kids feel empowered so after they hear an author speak, they too can get a book and go home with that. that has been huge for us, really, really huge. i personally want to thank you
for allowing us to pursue that as well. i wanted now to open up to some of you out there. if any of you want to talk about some of your experience is in regard to some of the money that you might have got. do we have anyone in the audience who has received a grant? do we have a mic? i guess you can just stand out. >> we used our money to purchase books that we can start to do more book events and schools in afghanistan and tory to bring circuits had a choice. thank you very much, mr. patterson. >> i wanted to make a comment, too. the on the money, the publicity week i was just amazing because we haven't had the money to and on it. we are in a new area a year and a half and not only did it go with the daily news mentioned in your fire, but it went to the sun journal and the press herald in everett is paper in the state
and the tv station came and filmed at our store. >> stephen king. [laughter] >> said i was more publicity than we could have had her hat. [applause] >> you know, one of the nicest been clear since i got from one of the booksellers that got help in the first wave was saying this really helps our store and it's really great for morale and we really need this and we love the idea that people are paying attention to us. for him, the best thing was that in the light of the situation and 90s people begin to think about what going on with independent bookstores and the press coverage. do we have any pricier today? excellent. but that is hard.
at the very heart thing. i don't know why books and literature have become under court to a lot of newspapers and magazines, but that seems to have happened and it's not the ideal situation. >> i think there is to major companies putting it back in the news. [laughter] >> with ap, mitch? >> we don't need to go there right now. that's very different panel. >> let me tell you, there would be a lot more come visit off. the >> very much so. >> anybody else? >> and landed with northern california booksellers association. more importantly, we are unique
unique -- [inaudible] mr. patterson was kind enough to find. we did something a little differently and we got i believe the largest amount from the grants. but the california bookstore, some of you may have heard about it, ended up taking idea that the record store people had started and ended up may 3rd having a 93 bookstores involved. i 93 bookstores and persons and in addition to selling some unique items, one of which was a book that we published that afterwards i went to meet with mr. patterson on the children's book for kids that various children's illustrators drew
illustrations right along with them. we did support the children side of this. but the thing i want to say is we use the grant to really help publicize the event. we got booksellers to read and take their bookmarks, for instance, and put them in a chore. we'll give you as many bookstores as you want. for years away and handed out to everyone who can in this building. we had 80,000 bookmarks and we could've printed 100,000 for the grant. we hired a pr firm is. so we used the grant to publicize them to market the event. the bottom line is most of the stores come on the sales in store that day and a year before worth anywhere from 20% to 300%
or 400% literally. that day he drove customers in the independent bookstores to buy books in a bookstore and not a bookstores reported an increase in sales of $150,000. >> one of the things that can be used instead more information was disseminated in ms. pac said in california bookstore day, georgia bookstore day, colorado bookstore day, clearly it is a good idea. you have the power of 90 bookstores. in terms of getting the message out there, in terms of getting people excited. in england they have the world out there that give a voucher to the country. they can get essentially a book
for a dollar. their ideas like that that are so powerful. i'm glad that it was a little bit better because we held. but that notion of taking that to your state or your area, orange county bookstores or whatever is a really neat thing and it does draw attention to your stores on the stores in the area. i encourage people to take that forward. the >> the northern california booksellers association has been kind of a trailblazer in so many different ways. from my time on the board, things we've adopted through the aba never tested out of northern california and i know the aba is probably right now thinking of some ideas, some ways to do this. am i right about that?
[inaudible] he was very clear this wasn't otherwise a bookstore. we had problems with all the things we did at the kids institute in san antonio. those ideas about this educational session about ways in which you can operate more successful, better to bookstore and be able to report that is directly a result. >> at the risk of embarrassing jim, i just want to say a few editorial. you often hear where's the money coming from? it's all coming from him personally is where it is coming from. also i happen to know just because we were at the miami book fair together and i had the honor even able to interview him on stage. every time i would try to work
towards his books, he would work it away from his books today's commitment that he has two having children read. the >> i've got to talk about my books right now. [laughter] >> people sitting in the front hall are going -- [inaudible] 's event they are doing the same thing right now. >> i just want to say it is one of the most genuine thing that in my 30 some odd years as a bookseller in umpteen nic has made a difference already looking to need to make a difference in the future. we hope that other authors jump on the band i can as well in order to axiomatic. i'd be half of all of us here want to thank us for this remarkable good work you done. before we had, i would like to ask you to booksellers who have gotten the grant, for those who have not applied yet because we
know only half of it is given away. maybe give a couple in as to what you did in your application. >> is so simple. just to the application. it's not hard. >> apparently don't don't need to send nine pages. so don't do that. just simple. speak from the heart of what you want to do. that's it. >> do we have any more questions out there? >> i want to repeat this one thing. we are almost done with the show. someone is overcome overcome into the independent books doors, buy some books. [applause] >> would you ever consider giving a grant to help somebody start up an independent bookstore? >> you know, send a note. i don't know. we will be. >> when you go to your website, with customers winning and p8 is
that where we actually apply that also? >> james patterson.com bookseller. >> we are participating in your hunt us all. it's usually successful. we have over 150, and we want to do it again. we will continue that with your iphone e-books. >> of the publisher will do exactly what you did and pass them on to other booksellers. thank you. >> let us get one in the back. >> to me talk about lately older children. we know that as kind of air, sometimes that is assigned to them classes they're really not reading much of anything else in the reading continues to drop off. do you have any suggestions on how to get them into bookstores and reading things and then
return? >> that's too hard. >> you see this with people where both parents are working and they just don't have the time. i think a bigger thing is probably that too few people are learning to read for pleasure. you hear that all the time. i worked so hard. the last thing i want to do is read. you can read for pleasure. it's not just a work thing. it's not just a school thing. part of that goes back to guess. somehow that there's more pleasure attached to english as a course schools would be really important. i always make a joke if they toss them in schools, which would be a bad thing, characterization and structure or whatever. if they started with bergman
movies, we would although i don't like movies to match. [laughter] they're just to be more pleasurable things attached. probably less grammar. >> yes, you had a question. >> i'm curious what i'm curious whether sun sees says or not there ought to enjoining macaws. >> a lot of authors do a lot of good things and they have their programs. >> other questions? >> authors do a lot of good games than they their own programs. >> it's not really a question. people have mentioned that in all these programs they are doing, one of the great side effect --
[inaudible] it is nonexistent. i think putting this out there -- >> to give an example of what the press was, it was in the near times. it was on npr, cbs this morning. of course the shelf awareness in pw. associated press put to death. the list goes on and on and on. it backley to your point, this has helped raise the awareness of what we all do. it augment what the shop local programs and all the effort the aba is make dean to raise the profile of independent bookstores and what james patterson has done has sort of supercharged that in a very important way i think.
anything else? and the other questions? >> not really a question, but when it first came out, my first was i felt like a wild. so i felt that the technology would be everything to reading books. i found through the use of type allergy that we've used, that other shops around the country have absolutely benefited as well. they don't just buy from us through our reaching out through the wilds, but because we are reaching out, others see what we are doing and so they go out to other bookshops and purchase. such technology can open up as